TAMPA — Brian Cashman is calling Jim Crane’s bluff.
A day after Crane, the Astros’ owner, claimed his club’s illegal sign-stealing program “didn’t impact the game,” Cashman, whose Yankees lost to the Astros in the 2017 ALCS, clapped back.
“I definitely think it had an effect on things, without question,” Cashman said Friday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. “Certainly the Houston Astros were dealing with a distinct advantage more so than their opponents. That’s a fact. I don’t think anybody can disagree with that, even though they may try.”
Asked if sign-stealing affects competition, Cashman was just as direct.
“Yes. No question about it, or you wouldn’t be doing it,” Cashman said.
The Yankees have been knocked out of the playoffs by the Astros in two of the past three years. Major League Baseball has only found that the Astros cheated in 2017, using electronics to steal signs, though there is suspicion they were at it again in 2019. That conspiracy theory has been fueled by the video of Jose Altuve telling his teammates not to rip off his jersey — perhaps as not to reveal a buzzer or other device underneath — after he hit a walk-off…